Urban Gardens of Baltimore Moms

The desire of Baltimore City Stroller Strides moms to add colorful and edible vegetation to our concrete jungle while being environmentally friendly is strong... like we are!

Many of us have container gardens along our sidewalks or in our concrete "backyards" just to add a splash of color like those seen above. Eileen del Valle's hibiscus trees brighten her block all summer long and then take shelter in her home during the winter months. Jess Bonsall, a recent mom of the month, repurposed a piece of air duct from Second Chance, and made it into a great container to beautify her front stoop. A very green way to add some green, for sure! Sometimes the things we do are as simple as hanging a plant hook on a fence post for some flowy color, especially needed in an otherwise gray parking pad that lacks any sign of life.

Growing up, I always loved eating from my backyard garden in the suburbs. I find comfort in knowing the dirt my greens come from and which substances are used to fight off pests, but moving to the city presented a challenge. There was no dirt on my property, so I had to get some. Challenge accepted.

When considering the creation of my urban garden, I thought it was important to keep everything I was growing elevated to keep certain pointy-nosed, whisker-wearing, long-tailed rodents from walking about them and enjoying them before I had the chance. Four years ago, while overdue with kiddo #1, I hung that wire window box with zip ties to my neighbors' fence (nesting much? haha) and have enjoyed this tiny potted herb garden ever since.


My staples each year are mint for mojitos, basil for caprese salads, and lavendar, not to eat but because I LOVE the smell! I also have parsley, rosemary, and chives, though I don't use them as much as the others. Last year, I decided to try a hanging basket grape tomato plant, and it did really well, so I'm trying it again this year! I just love getting out of the car, picking a ripe tomato or two off the plant, and savoring the fruits of my labor!

I always thought my little herb and tomato garden was quite nifty until Eileen shared these pictures:


She could've thrown out her old kitchen sink, but instead she built a stand and turned it into a home for her tomato and pepper plants. Brilliant! To the right, a few gutters make the perfect living quarters for luttuce, and also make for easy watering as one's runoff pours into the next. She tosses in new seeds after each harvest to keep it coming all summer long! A truly fantastic idea!

So go scavenge Second Chance or your basement, visit the nursery for some seeds or starter plants, and create an urban garden to enjoy all summer long!

**For all the things we can't grown on our own, we definitely hit up these local Farmers Markets around town!

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In the craziness that is motherhood and business ownership -- and all those other parts of life as I know it -- sometimes I like to sit back, quiet my mind, and just remember what brought me to this crazy beautiful happy place. I remember when I tried my first class and made my first neighborhood mom friends. When I first met the mom down the street who would later become my business partner. I remember the moms who came, who saw, who conquered; those who have been with me since the start and those who have moved away. All that remembering leads me right back to today. I thought I'd share some of these moments through pictures and a little story-telling.


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